Lawrenceville Divorce Attorney Blog Series – By Douglas W. Lewis, Attorney at Law
“Can I file for Divorce in Georgia if I do not know where my spouse lives?”
This is Part 3 of the ‘Can I file for a Divorce in Georgia if…?' series. I addressed whether you can file for divorce if both spouses still live together andwhether you can file for divorce if your spouse already has in the first two parts of the series. In the twenty years I have been handling divorce and child custody cases in my Lawrenceville office I have been asked numerous questions about filing for divorce. This series is focused on addressing common questions that many have asked when considering filing for divorce in Gwinnett County, the Atlanta metro area, or anywhere else in Georgia. If you have any questions after reading this post please contact me at my Lawrenceville office for a free phone consultation.
In Georgia, a spouse can be served by ‘publication' in certain situations
If you and your spouse are separated and you do not know where your spouse is living, you may still be able to file for divorce. In general, what you must show the court is that you have made a good faith effort, a real effort, to attempt to locate your spouse, but despite your efforts your spouse cannot be found. This good faith effort is shown in a Motion that is filed with the court. If the judge agrees that a good faith effort has been made and the spouse cannot be located then the judge will often sign an Order for Service by Publication. Once the Order has been signed by the judge, all the required paperwork has been filed, and the required fees have been paid then the process of serving your spouse by publication begins. Service by Publication means that your spouse will be given notice of the divorce action being filed by having the notice published in the county's ‘legal organ' or legal newspaper. The Notice for Service by Publication will run once a week for four consecutive weeks.
If the divorce action is to be filed in Gwinnett County then it is filed in Gwinnett County Superior Court. The filing fee charged by the Gwinnett County Superior Court clerk to file the divorce papers is currently $206.00 and the fee to place the Notice of Service by Publication in the legal newspaper is $80.00. Gwinnett County's ‘legal organ' is the Gwinnett Daily Post. Each county in the State of Georgia has its own legal organ or newspaper.
I have successfully handled a number of divorce cases where the other spouse could not be located and a Notice for Service by Publication had to be filed. If you have any questions about filing for divorce when you do not know where your spouse is then please feel free to contact me so we can discuss your specific situation.
Do you or someone you know have a question regarding filing for divorce or just a question about divorce or family law in general? If so please do not hesitate to contact me for a free initial telephone consultation.
Lawrenceville Attorney Douglas W. Lewis has over twenty years of experience in Gwinnett County and the Atlanta Metro area handling family law and divorce cases, personal injury cases, criminal defense, civil litigation cases and estate planning matters. If you have any questions please call the Lawrenceville office for a free initial phone consultation or to schedule an office consultation. You can contact Mr. Lewis by telephone at 770-682-3765, via email. Client reviews can be found on Mr. Lewis' Google + page and on his website.